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How Food and Drinks Sold in BC Schools Score

February 18, 2014 by Dean Simmons, Registered Dietitian

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How can you be sure your children are being offered healthy food choices at school? When it comes to prepackaged food and drinks, as well as school menus from chain restaurants, the Brand Name Food List (the list) makes it easy. The list is mainly used by people who sell food to schools and students, but can also be used by parents who are interested in seeing what kinds of food and drinks are allowed to be sold in BC schools.

The list contains hundreds of products that have been scored as Sell Most, Sell Sometimes or Do Not Sell. The Sell Most and Sell Sometimes food and beverage products on the list are healthier choices that tend to be higher in essential nutrients and lower in sodium, sugar and fat. 

These scores are based on the nutrient and ingredient criteria in the Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools (the Guidelines). The Guidelines were designed to ensure that students only have access to healthier food, and are one part of the Healthy Schools BC initiative that aims to create healthier school environments to support optimal health and learning.

If you're a member of the parent advisory committee (PAC) at your children's school, the list will help you pick Sell Most and Sell Sometimes products that can be sold at school lunches and fundraisers. The list can also help parents determine if the food and beverages being sold at school and school endorsed events meet the criteria in the Guidelines.

You can be confident in the fact that the list is managed by Registered Dietitians at HealthLink BC, and that all prepackaged and franchised food and beverages choices are scored against the same nutrient and ingredient criteria. If you don’t find what you’re looking for on the list you can submit an item for posting.

The Brand Name Food List helps both parents and food vendors ensure that students are only being sold healthier food and drinks while at school and school events.

The Brand Name Food List has recently been updated to reflect the criteria in the new 2013 edition of the Guidelines. This is the first major update since the list was created in 2007.

Photo Credit: iStock

Related Posts:

Making Difficult Choices Easier
Guidelines for Healthier Eating at School

Recommended Resources:

HealthLink BC: The Brand Name Food List
HealthLink BC: For Schools and Communities
Healthy Eating at School

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